They Are the Boss of You

by Bob Poole on January 31, 2011

I was doing some web surfing last night that left me shaking my head at how some companies still think they are in control of what consumers want. There was a time when they could jam advertising down our throats and we pretty much had to accept it in order to get the content we wanted. Everyone knows those days are over – everyone that is except those companies (almost always large) that just won’t give up trying to be in control of our viewing habits.

Are you familiar with the term pre-roll? It is the online video ad that comes up and forces you to watch it when you click on a link to content you’d like to see. ABC is one of the worst for pre-roll video in my opinion. If the news story is hot or one likely to attract a lot of eyes then you can bet that ABC will put a 15 – 30 second ad in front of the story that you cannot stop if you want to watch the story.

So what do people do about that? If they are like me they click away from ABC and find the same story someplace else. TubeMogul states that 16% click away. I’m not buying that. I think it is a lot higher.

But, then maybe most people have lots of time to waste and enjoy being manipulated into watching something. I doubt that!

I’m very interested in using online video for business and so should you if you care about sales and marketing. Using video to market, educate, entertain, sell, etc. is the sweet spot of online marketing now and for at least as many years forward as I can see. I don’t have to tell you (but I am) that your television, computer and mobile device screen (especially your mobile device screen) are all kind of merging together as far as where you get information.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world – larger than Yahoo. Your customers are watching more online video all the time and it isn’t just the kids. The middle-age to senior demographic is also showing amazing growth in online video viewing.

What you need to remember is the customer is in total control now. You need to get their attention but not by manipulating them into watching your advertisement. Most of them are not even original but just a 30 or 60 second commercial the agency cut down to fit in a shorter time span online.

What you and I will be doing is delighting our customers, clients and prospects with video that is interesting, educational, entertaining and fun! Video can be a great salesperson for you but just like you need an exceptional salesperson to get exceptional results the same thing goes for video. Put out junk video and it will work as well as using a junk direct mailing.

The same companies using manipulating tactics with online video are also using Twitter and Facebook to push advertising instead of having a conversation or putting out information people want to read or see. Don’t let yourself become one of them. Find yourself someone to guide you and run from anyone who says you need a big production budget. The most watched online videos are short and simple.

I’m excited about the future of online video. I want my clients to use it to not only market but to improve customer service, interactively engage with people, teach, and make them smile.

If you have any doubts about how important online video is to your business, I want you remember that is a medium like film, radio, and television. At the time those three mediums began people scoffed and said it will never replace the previous, it won’t become popular, it is just a gimmick, etc. It is a fact that many of those people were marketers who wanted to stick with what was working. I wonder things turned out for them?

Don’t be one of them. Start learning about online video now. I’m going to sponsor a free “How to Use Online Video in Your Business” webinar in the near future. If you’re interested in getting an email announcement before we invite the general public, then click here and you’ll have the first opportunity to register. It should be both educational and fun!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi Kaplan February 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

When those ads come up, I hit the “mute” button on my keyboard and do something else until the ad is over!

Meanwhile, that video webinar sounds grand. Some people on a forum I belong to were asking about making videos. I’ll let them know once you’re ready to roll.

Bob Poole February 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I’ve gotten a lot of responses to the idea for the video webinar, Jodi, so I’ll be posting about it soon.
Your keyboard has a mute button? 🙂

CoCreatr February 13, 2011 at 11:31 am

Yess. If you think pre-roll on TV is bad, try cinema. On another forum I felt inspired to answer the question “Can you describe a future in which you would volunteer your data in exchange for truly relevant advertising?” For some, this approach seems to promise an escape of captive ad-viewing

I first said no, and then agreed with the guy who declared the question is a false one.

My premise is that it’s our data and we share if we want to. I see not much use in profiling people by the thousands only to target them with mostly lame ads about mediocre products. I much prefer an “independent sales pro” (is there such a profession?) understand my needs and wishes and recommend what helps me. Let that build their reputation. Would this lead us to a new kind of professional salesperson, independent of any organization and paid commission by the customer?

Bob Poole February 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I’ll check out that forum as I’m guessing I know its location. I’m about to check back in there as I’ve been a bit MIA recently.

Bob Poole February 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Hi Bernd – I am so sorry your comment got caught in a filter and did not get posted. What you describe as an “independent sales pro” should be every salesperson. However, the idea of having one independent of the provider of goods and/or services and paid by the customer is very interesting. In some ways what we call personal shoppers or concierge shoppers have some of that role. But the truth is that they are usually getting paid by the suppliers as well as the customers.

We have independent insurance agents but they aren’t. They just carry a variety of lines for different companies but they are not totally independent and they still get a commission from the company

How do you see such a new type of sales person evolving? Would it be a maverick or group of mavericks? Commission based sales isn’t for everyone even when you have a company willing to pay you.

So let me ask you – would you be willing to pay a monthly or annual fee for your own independent agent in addition to the commissions when you purchase?

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